"There is no God" and "there is a God" are two inflammatory statements and both absurd in equal measure. We have been living under the light of great scientific breakthroughs and finding an answer to these statements is an impossibility. Yes, there is no proof of how God created the universe, and the fact that he even took a break from all the work makes us mortals chortle.
Religious texts and rites are only backed up by faith, so it's no surprise that people decide not to wade into the waters of faith and believe in a divinity. There is nothing wrong with questioning rituals, practices, and doctrines that have passed down through generations and are over two millennia old. Some writers have drawn the conclusion that there is no God as depicted in religious doctrines and instead opt to believe in a driving force of creation and the Universe.
Below you'll find a list of authors that succeeded in challenging and questioning the concept of God and opening our minds to new possibilities.
The Grand Design (2010) by Stephen Hawking
This book mainly deals with "spontaneous creation," and as this term suggests, the Universe didn't need God's divine intervention to be created. Instead, it was formed by the laws of physics that rule the cosmos, and it will eventually disappear one day, in order to form a different version of the Universe in space. In this highly controversial and successful, Hawking stresses that thanks to science, God has been debunked and rendered useless.
In the past we had need of divinity to understand the natural world and the universe, but now science offers a new door with more reliable explanations. Hawking is an atheist and he has had to clarify several times why in A Brief History of Time he stated that a unifying theory of science would help mankind "know the mind of God." What he meant was that by having a unifying theory we would be able to understand everything that God would know, if there was a god. "Which there isn't" he concludes.
The Double (1846) by Fiódor Dostoyevski
Dostoyevski's fatalistic and nihilistic view of the world was an important influence for philosophers, scientists, and even mathematicians. Most of his characters are unsure about their place in society, and live engulfed by anxiety. The Double, which has also been regarded as a darker and more mocking version of "The Book of Job," focuses on the character Yákov Goliadkin, who works as a titular councillor. He starts to lose his mind little by little when he realizes life won't improve. He begs for divine or human assistance, but his prayers remain unanswered.
On the Genealogy of Morality (1887) by Friedrich Nietzsche
How can you distinguish evil from good? How did mankind figure out its moral state? Was it thanks to religion, philosophy, science, or the arts? These are some of the questions Nietzsche raises in this book, considered one of his most controversial works, since it criticizes the moral values of modern society. As he tries to unravel these quandaries, he challenges the notion of God creating humanity during genesis, and stresses that rather we are shaped by our interactions with others, and we have a need to create and shape our communities.
The God Delusion (2006) by Richard Dawkins
Dawkins published this essay in 2006, in which he states his arguments in favor or against God's existence. He also delves into the fears societies feel towards not being able to grasp a concept of God beyond the one they already have.
The Dragons of Eden (1978) by Carl Sagan
This Pulitzer-Price winning book by Sagan offers a broad analysis of human intelligence through the study of biology, anthropology, and neurosciences. He explains the reasons why these aspects of humanity can't possibly be the result of a divine act, but the result of centuries of evolution.
The Jerusalem Bible
To the present day, the Jerusalem Bible is still considered the most faithful translation from the Hebrew Bible. It comes with notes that explain the meaning of each story and analyze the scriptures in their context. This book can be a good companion while reading the ones mentioned above. You'll be able to compare your understanding of biblical stories and concepts with the previously mentioned interpretations of religious concepts.
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Translated by Andrea Valle Gracia